The Kolkata Knight Riders sealed a much needed win against Kings XI Punjab on Friday night and the fact that it came about in convincing fashion will certainly do wonders for their confidence.
However, they couldn’t have picked a worse time to visit a Chennai Super Kings side who have started to stamp their authority on the tournament with four straight wins. I’m therefore tipping MS Dhoni’s men to be too strong for the defending champions at home in what should be a highly entertaining game.
Knight Riders skipper Gautam Gambhir will take heart from the fact that his side finally produced a solid batting effort against Punjab with Bisla, Morgan and an unusually out of form Kallis all coming good.
They will surely need to pick up from where they left off in Kolkata to stand a chance against the Super Kings who are coming off another good win over Hyderabad and look in ominous form. Their win against the Sunrisers showed once again their key men rise to the occasion when needed.
Michael Hussey’s return to the side has been very positive and you can expect him to play well again in this one. ‘Huss’ is the ultimate competitor and will be pumped up following his recent run of form, and as his 45 from 26 balls against the Sunrisers shows, he gets Chennai off to such good starts that when players of the quality of MS Dhoni come to the crease they can play without pressure.
For the Knight Riders, newly appointed New South Wales coach Trevor Bayliss will surely be telling his players that a win over this Chennai side could well be the springboard to a return to the healthier end of the table.
The other game I’ll be keeping my eye on this weekend will be a clash of the teams at the bottom of the table, Pune coming up against Delhi. Each day I look at the standings and struggle to comprehend how the Daredevils are doing so poorly. With great talent like Jayawardene, Sehwag and Warner, it has to be said they should be doing better.
Fortunes can change quickly in the IPL however and I thought their season had turned around last Sunday following a big win over Mumbai, only to see them crash to Kings XI at the Feroz Shah Kotla.
Despite the loss, my money would still be on them to beat the Warriors, who have been consistently off the pace this season and probably still have sore necks from watching all those Chris Gayle sixes fly over their heads a few days back!
Professional Management Group